List of missions to comets

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As of 2013, the United States, Soviet Union, Japan and the European Space Agency have conducted missions to comets.

Spacecraft Launch Date[1] Comet Mission Outcome Remarks Carrier rocket[2]
ICE
(ISEE-3)
12 August 1978 21P/Giacobini–Zinner Flyby 4Successful Extended mission; Closest approach of 7,862 kilometres (4,885 mi) at 11:02 UTC on 11 September 1985. Also made distant observations of 1P/Halley in May 1986.[3] Delta 2914
Vega 1
(5VK No.901)
15 December 1984 1P/Halley Flyby 4Successful Flew past Halley after visiting Venus; closest approach 8,889 kilometres (5,523 mi) at 07:20:06 UTC on 6 March 1986.[4] Proton-K/D-1
Vega 2
(5VK No.902)
21 December 1984 1P/Halley Flyby 4Successful Flew past Halley after visiting Venus; closest approach at 07:20 UTC on 9 March 1986.[5] Proton-K/D-1
Sakigake
(MS-T5)
7 January 1985 1P/Halley Flyby 4Successful Closest approach of 6.99 million kilometres (4.34 million miles) at 04:18 UTC on 11 March 1986.[6] Mu-3S-II
Giotto 1 2 July 19851 1P/Halley Flyby 4Successful Closest approach of 605 kilometres (376 mi) at 00:03:02 UTC on 14 March 1986.[7] Ariane 1
2 July 19852 26P/Grigg–Skjellerup Flyby 4Successful Extended mission. Closest approach of 200 kilometres (120 mi) at 15:30 UTC on 10 July 1992.[7]
Suisei
(PLANET-A) 1
19 August 19851 1P/Halley Flyby 4Successful Closest approach of 152,400 kilometres (94,700 mi) at 13:06 UTC on 8 March 1986[8] Mu-3S-II
19 August 19852 21P/Giacobini–Zinner Flyby 1Spacecraft failure
(Extended mission)
Extended mission, spacecraft ran out of fuel en route; flyby had been scheduled for 24 November 1998[8]
Deep Space 1 1 24 October 19981 107P/Wilson–Harrington[9] Flyby 1Spacecraft failure Spacecraft was unable to reach Wilson–Harrington due to ion engine operation being suspended while a problem with the probe's star tracker was investigated.[10] Delta II 7326
24 October 19982 19P/Borrelly Flyby 4Successful Extended mission
Stardust
(Discovery 4)
7 February 1999 81P/Wild Flyby
Sample return
4Successful Delta II 7426
7 February 1999 9P/Tempel Flyby 4Successful Extended mission, Stardust-NExT, to survey crater caused by Deep Impact
CONTOUR
(Discovery 6)
3 July 2002 2P/Encke Flyby 1Spacecraft failure Delta II 7425
3 July 2002 73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann Flyby 1Spacecraft failure
3 July 2002 6P/d'Arrest Flyby 1Spacecraft failure Flyby provisionally scheduled at time of spacecraft's failure
Rosetta 2 March 2004 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Orbiter 6Operational Entered orbit around 67P at 09:06 UTC on 6 August 2014. Ariane 5G+
Philae 2 March 2004 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Lander 6 Inactive Came to rest on the surface of 67P at 17:32 UTC on 12 November 2014. Communications ceased with the loss of battery power at 00:36 UTC on 15 November 2014 and the lander is currently hibernating. May be able to reactivate on solar power in August 2015 when the comet comes closer to the sun. Ariane 5G+
Deep Impact
(Discovery 7)
12 January 2005 9P/Tempel Flyby/Impactor 5Successful Impact occurred at 05:52 UTC on 4 July 2005. Delta II 7925
12 January 2005 103P/Hartley Flyby 5Successful Extended mission (EPOXI)

References[edit]

  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Interplanetary Probes". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Solar System Exploration - ISEE-3/ICE - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Solar System Exploration - Vega 1 - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Solar System Exploration - Vega 2 - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Solar System Exploration - Sakigake - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Solar System Exploration - Giotto - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Solar System Exploration - Suisei - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Wilson-Harrington is catalogued as both a comet and an asteroid
  10. ^ "Solar System Exploration - Deep Space 1 - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013.